U.S. reggae band 10 Ft. Ganja Pant continues to deliver solid instrumental sets. On their tenth album and the third installment in their on-going instrumental only Deadly Shots series 10 Ft. Ganja Plant offers ten charming cuts.
The album collects a mix of upbeat tracks and slower jams rooted in late 60s and early 70s Jamaica. Most of them are dominated by a soulful guitar or a groovy organ and they are clearly influenced by bands such as The Hippy Boys, The Crystalites and The Dynamites.
Included on the set is the wonderful Castor Bean, the haunting Angel Trumpet and the Middle Eastern-flavoured Oleander.
10 Ft. Ganja Plant is a spin-off of the more progressive and psychedelic reggae band John Brown’s Body, and they have been making music for more than 14 years. And this beautiful instrumental series is a well-deserved addition to their more contemporary catalogue.
10 Ft. Ganja Plant has been around for more than ten years now. Quite long for a band that started out as a side project to the more progressive sounding John Brown’s Body.
The Plant is far from progressive. They have sounded more or less exactly the same since the debut in 2000 – reggae firmly rooted in 70s Jamaica.
Their ninth, and latest, set, Skycatcher, is recorded and produced according to the same delicious formula – a cocktail of warm and bass heavy vocal and instrumental cuts. It’s timeless with live instrumentation, a killer horn section, scorching organs and blistering harmonica. And the band’s members share vocal duties, which gives the album a nice diversity
If you’ve enjoyed the previous eight albums you will certainly not be disappointed with this ten track effort.
Do you miss keyboard wizards such as Glen Adams, Winston Wright or the late and great Jackie Mittoo? Then the latest album from U.S. roots and dub band 10 Ft. Ganja Plant might be of interest.
10 Deadly Shots Vol. 2 is a instrumental album that puts the organ courtesy of Roger Rivas from The Aggrolites in the front row. The other instruments – bass, guitar, drums and percussion – are handled the usual mysterious musicians that make up the band, probably members of John Brown’s Body.
The 10 deadly shots are vintage sounding and would have fitted perfectly on a Trojan Records’ compilation back in the late 60’s or early 70’s.
The production provides plenty of space for Roger Rivas groovy organ to float over the skanking riddims and it builds up an easygoing atmospheric soundscape for everyone to dance to.
Roots veteran Don Carlos‘ backing band Dub Vision has gone solo and released their debut album Counter Attack with a bunch of guest artists – one of them being Don Carlos himself.
Dub Vision is based in California and the sun and beach vibes are apparent on several tunes, especially in Cool Summer, where the band’s lead singer Hodge’s soft, whispering vocal style flows over a sweet and well-executed riddim.
But the sun doesn’t shine at all times. The mood on tunes such as Trod On, Rebel Sounds and Extrication are dark and mysterious and rather have a feel of a cloudy and muggy London.
The musicianship is flawless throughout, especially the horn arrangements are a particular delight. The several instrumentals and semi-instrumentals give the horn players much space to elaborate on the melody and the mood. The trombone courtesy of Balboa Becker is superb and so is Malika Madremana’s vocals in Children of Israel.
Highly recommended for fans of well-crafted reggae and bands such as 10 ft. Ganja Plant.
John Brown’s Body is one of the most popular reggae bands in the U.S. 10 Ft. Ganja Plant comprises several members of that outfit, but their music leans more towards authentic 70’s roots reggae.
On 10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s seventh album – only one year after the concept album 10 Deadly Shots – they continue to impress with tight riddims and dubwise arrangements.
Shake up the Place contains ten tracks – always ten or eleven on their albums – with several prominent guest artists.
Sylford Walker, Prince Jazzbo and The Meditations certainly sound very comfortable. Sylford Walker is close to Burning Spear in the apocalyptic My Roots and Prince Jazzbo’s flow on the relevant Recession is an excursion back to the 70’s.
But Shake up the Place is more than great vocals. Several of the tunes are instrumentals and the musicianship is flawless throughout. Just listen to the harmony between the guitars, piano and organ in the title track or the trumpet solo in Ringers Rock. Pure gold.
Shake up the Place shakes up the more than the place – it shakes up the world.